Skip to content
Main menu hidden.
People at mangrove forests located in shrimp farm aquaculture in northern Vietnam.

Image: Heidi Burdett

Socio-political potential of blue carbon economies in SE Asia

Research project This project is financed by the Swedish Research Council and Formas

This project will quantify Least Developed Country blue carbon market potential, and co-create a blue-carbon based implementation pathway for poverty alleviation and improved climate resilience.

Head of project

Heidi Burdett
Associate professor

Project overview

Project period:

2024-01-01 2026-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Research area

Marine science, Political science

External funding

Swedish Research Council, Formas

Project description

Poverty and climate change are inextricably linked, so they must be tackled together. Nature-based solutions could achieve this, and blue carbon – the storage of carbon by coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forests – is a favoured candidate because of its wide-ranging benefits such as income diversification, improved ecosystem health and spillover effects for other economies such as fishing.

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have the greatest potential for benefit gain because of their significant blue carbon ecosystem extent, capacity for extensive blue carbon restoration and strong ambition for sustainable development. However, blue carbon policy (in LDCs and more widely) remains hindered by an inadequate natural science base, community hesitancy and slow political mobilisation.

Taking a comparative case-study approach in Cambodia (LDC) and Vietnam (Lower Middle Income Country), we address these gaps to define the potential of, and pathway to implementation for, LDC blue carbon policy via 5 objectives: (1) quantify blue carbon market potential, (2) evaluate community priorities, (3) assess the community value placed on blue carbon, (4) identify regional-scale LDC policy challenges across SE Asia and (5) construct a local-national scale LDC roadmap for realising blue carbon benefits. Working across the environment-public-policy nexus, we will enable sustainable LDC development, with joint benefits for the multidimensional perspectives of poverty and environmental health.

External funding

Latest update: 2024-02-01